Battle of Minds (BOM) is a yearly event organised by BATB aiming to find potential recruits from a large pool of fresh graduates through a talent competition by creating an excitingplatform for graduating students of the country to show the world what they are capable of. It has been 14 years since its inception and the platform has been evolving since. The journey has been nothing short of exceptional for all the people involved and is the only sustainable recruitment platform in the country still growing in the span of 15 years.
Syed Nasim Manzur
Mahbubul Alam Hanif
Barrister Junayed Ahmed Chowdhury
Khondokar Habibul Kabir
The current process of Battle of Minds starts with an online assessment. Applicants have to pass tests that challenge their aptitude, verbal prowess, and mathematical knowledge in order to qualify to the next round. After they pass these tests, they are tasked with making a video that can range from a variety of topics. In BOM 2017, the applicants were asked to make a video where they would highlight one aspect of their city that they would like to change and how they would go around to changing it. After that, the top 175 were called to the Boot Camp. There they received insights from the best business professionals of the country along with the top performers of BATB, and gathered extensive knowledge about solving business problems. They were then divided into groups and their ability to influence the group discussions was tested in an FGD platform. From the 175 candidates, the top 40 moved on to the next round where they were tasked with coming up with a solution to Dhaka city's traffic jam. They were sorted into 10 teams of 4 members each. The top 6 teams made it to the finals. Following extensive live presentations, BUET stood strong as the champions of Battle of Minds 2017. Nasrul Hamid MP, State Minister, Ministry of Energy and Resource congratulated the ideas and the platform for driving such youth engagements for the betterment of the country.
The aforementioned rounds that gave every participant a thrilling experience were results of a long term evolutionary process. Battle of Minds began with humble classroom sessions in 2002, where the tests were aimed at assessing the mettle of the students involved. As time went on, the centres got bigger and case studies were introduced to test practical knowledge of the students. From 2006 onwards, roadshows for BOM were conducted in some of the top universities of the country. From 2010, a new employee value proposition was added to the mix, thus the “Bring your difference” tagline was born. In 2012's instalment, the candidates were given real-life problems to solve. This laid the foundation that would house BOM's core principle — giving students the stage to experience real-life implications with whatever they do in the competition. However, Battle of Minds didn't only give students problems to solve. Their raw talent was nurtured in such a way that they would be able to apply this knowledge in any business profession. Thus, the rounds became more diverse and challenging, so much so that BOM 2016's 10 finalist teams were tasked with managing 1 restaurant each. They were given full control of operations and were expected to earn profits for their respective restaurants.
Students who are going to graduate soon have little to no knowledge or experience of corporate life, thus most of them struggle to adjust to the environment. BOM helps these students get accustomed to the high-octane planes of business so that they fit in seamlessly. BOM bridges the gap between corporate life and academic life. The top candidates of BOM also get called to the graduate-level jobs at BATB, so that's further incentive for students to challenge themselves and push themselves to the limit. Injamam-ul Alam, a BOM alumni said in an interview with The Daily Star “I have learned through BOM that whatever idea one has, needs to be pitched in the right manner, to the right people. Being able to present my ideas clearly, as I have learned from BOM, has helped me immensely in my work.”
Battle of Minds is much more than just an average competition. It is a proving ground for the country's best upcoming talents where they are given the grooming that they require to flourish. As it develops future business professionals, it also contributes to the national agenda of human resource development. Thus, BOM will forever stand as a great talent creation platform.
The writer is a sub-editor of Shout, The Daily Star, and has recently graduated from IBA, DU.